December 22, 2018

Why are millennials so passionate about houseplants?

Julia Grandi Sundermeyer, 23

The project “Botanical Girls” is about the love for houseplants among millennials and how it has become an important part of their lives and lifestyle. The interest in plants among young people today, has grown massively over the last five years and plants are more than an aesthetic choice for the home. For many people, taking care of the plants are a way of winding down, stress less and disconnect from the digital world they are living in. Houseplants have had a big impact on mental health. The value of the organic environment within urban cities plays a big part in the lives of the plant keepers. The project explore the interior and exterior feeling about the relation between the humans and the plants.

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The project came about starting from asking myself why I love having plants in my home environment. The idea of having to take care of something living, that I could potentially kill, was not an interest of mine in my childhood. When moving away from home to start university, plants was something I was missing. It was a way of feeling like home was with me, wherever I was living, and I slowly realised it was a therapeutic and relaxing to care for the plants. For someone dealing with anxiety, it became important to me.

From researching and asking around I quickly saw the impact plants had on others and decided to tell my idea for the project through social media. The interest in being part of my project was bigger than I could imagine and especially among girls. They wanted to tell their stories why plants are important to them and show pride in the care of the plants. The two biggest themes were mental health and aesthetic. Plants are detoxifying and in the urban environment the majority of millennials live in, having plants is a way for them to feel like they are bringing the nature they do not have, into their homes, while also cleaning the urban air. The patient for watching plants grow new leafs or flowers require patient and many of the subjects said it helped them stress less and that there was a excitement in the waiting. Some of the subjects also expressed the love of caring for something that doesn’t is not, having a pet or a child, or being in a relationship. The hectic lives of millennials are difficult to balance and caring for plants, instead of a person or a pet, is easier and can bring same amount of joy. Having house plants is also an aesthetic choice to fill rooms with colour and texture. It gives a warmth to the rooms and is an easy way of decorating empty spaces.

I was fascinated in the passion especially among girls and how caring for plants is seen as a feminine interest, and how that is slowly changing around the world. It is an ongoing project and I want to explore more areas and discuss the topic further.